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Recalling happy times, wondering about trees

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! I took a short two week Christmas break and enjoyed being with my family in Hernando. I kept my phone handy for news from Mt. Olivet, Black Jack, and beyond.

Before leaving, I attended the funeral service for Matthew E. Nardozzi. His parents are Angela Ford Nardozzi and the late Donald Joseph Nardozzi. His grandparents are Lloyd (Sonny) Floyd and Myrna Samford Ford and Ruby Nardozzi.

Sonny, Myrna, and Ruby classmate of mine from the time I started Batesville School (from Mt. Olivet) in 1949 until we graduated together in 1955.

Thanks to everyone who called asking about my articles. I was gone two weeks and people were asking if I was coming back. Yes, as long as you give me ideas and news.

While I was away, I was so saddened by the death of Corrine Johnson and the untimely death of her daughter Patsy Morrow. My family and theirs go back a long way.

My husband and Corrine worked at Tucker-Brame Manufacturing Company for many years. They were all devoted employees and found time to develop strong friendships.

Patsy was everybody’s sweetheart, and her smile was as bright as the rays of the sun. Yvonne and I share something that she is probably not aware of – our name. My middle name is Yvonne.

When little Connie was about seven years old she began piano lessons. She excelled to the point of helping me teach in junior high. She is a pianist at Calvary Baptist Church now. I am always so pleased that my students use their talent in various churches throughout this area, as well as becoming teachers.

At this writing I have just returned from the funeral for Johnie Keen Mason, widow of Benny Mason. She was a pillar in Black Jack Presbyterian Church. She wore many hats in the church from running the nursery to teaching and chaperoning the young people on trips.

She was very active in the Women’s Circle.

My daughter LaDonna had the privilege of being under guidance during her teenage years.

Johnie’s daughter Karen has become a world traveler being married to a military man. Husband James Kitchens shared with me some of the many places she was able to visit as a result of his military service, one of which was Italy.

Johnie’s daughter Sonya became the pianist at Black Jack Presbyterian during her junior high and high school years. She and husband Mark Edwards raise Labrador Retrievers and Sonya is a judge.

My life, my daughter, and the whole community is much richer because of Johnie Mason. I think of the epitaph on Patsy Cline’s monument when I remember Johnie – “Love cannot kill what never dies.”

Johnie, you will always be with us! Your influence will always be with us.

MDOT, what are you doing to the trees on Highway 6? Why are you doing it?

During 2020 I hope the beautification committee gets busy. It has been determined that Highway 6 from I-55 to Oxford is the most traveled corridor in the state. I see Highway 6 as another Natchez Trace, but with appropriate businesses.

Can that be done? Yes! We have an active Land Development Commission that will monitor new developments. Every civic organization – Lions Club, Exchange Club, Rotary, etc., would adopt an area or a mile or two and see that it is beautified.

I saw one little Magnolia tree sprouting from a huge stump. I do hope that was not a large Magnolia tree that MDOT mutilated. Our state flower!

There are two Christmas traditions that I did not get to finish in December when I was asking for your traditions, one of which was given to me by Taneshia Young. They all get together at her aunt Heneretta Harris’ house. There are 50 or more in attendance and they have, among other activities, an ugly sweater contest with prizes.

There is food galore, of course, and there’s also chitlins! Wouldn’t my George and the late Dr. George C. enjoy that Christmas feast!

The other Christmas tradition that I found interesting was given to me by Elzie and Nancy Ellis of Southaven, who are Panolian readers. They start on Dec. 1 and read one chapter a week from the Gospel of Luke until Christmas Eve. There are 24 chapters in the book of Luke. That is an interesting project anytime, but especially at Christmas.

Sympathy goes out to Ashley Parrish (Mrs. Will) in the loss of her grandmother.

There seems to have been a lot of sadness during the last few weeks, but you can come to the happy celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Hartman. The event will take place this Saturday (tomorrow) at Mt. Olivet Church beginning at 2 p.m. Your presence is your gift!

Remember that yesterday is past, tomorrow is the future, and today is a gift from God. That’s why it’s called the present.

I’ll write your story, if you will tell me. Call me at home (662-563-1742) or text/call on cell (901-828-8824).